Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Consider Trading Marner?

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 18: Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs stands during player introductions prior to playing the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scotiabank Arena on January 18, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 18: Kasperi Kapanen #24 of the Toronto Maple Leafs stands during player introductions prior to playing the Chicago Blackhawks at the Scotiabank Arena on January 18, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Toronto Maple Leafs made an inevitable move by trading winger Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In doing so, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas managed to get back incredible value for the Finish winger – a draft pick, a top prospect and some cap space.

For Kapanen himself, this trade is a big opportunity. Pittsburgh Penguins GM, Jim Rutherford, told on TSN’s Overdrive that Kapanen will get the chance to play top-six minutes on either the Crosby or Malkin line.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs, trading Kapanen clears the much-needed space in the flat salary cap era. Nonetheless, the Leafs still have a long way to go.

If the loss to the Blue Jackets taught us anything, it is is that this team needs a big change, and shipping out a third line winger doesn’t really accomplish that.

The Toronto Maple Leafs need change

I have been pondering a long time on the Toronto Maple Leafs made this trade, at first I was happy with the return, sad to see a player like Kapanen go, but as I said, it was inevitable. Now, I don’t think this should have been anywhere near the top of Dubas’s priority list.

As everyone has seen, the Leafs haven’t been able to have any playoff success under their current core group of players.  Dubas thought firing Babcock would revive the players, but it did not lead to any more playoff success than they had before.

The only way to change this group of core players is to let them know they won’t get away that easy with such an embarrassing performance and still play in Toronto for top dollars. Dubas needs to trade a core player to give a signal to the group.

To eliminate the obvious, the Toronto Maple Leafs can’t trade Tavares, even though he didn’t deliver this summer.  Alas, his contract is tight with a no-movement clause, so that ship won’t sail.

Matthews is a top-five player in the league and there is no chance he is moved.  Considering the thin blue-line Toronto already has looking at their top-four group, Rielly and Muzzin are safe as well. Leaving forwards Marner and Nylander.

Between the two, Marner delivered nowhere near his paycheck. Nylander, on the other hand, provided some of the best dollar for dollar value in the NHL. For a player that has won nothing, but wanted to be paid Matthews dollars and was the 7th best-paid player in the league last season, Marner needs to do more.

Next. The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Look to Tampa as An Example of Patience. dark

I’m not saying Toronto needs to ship Marner out, but if the Leafs are looking to shake things up, he is the obvious candidate to move on.